Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Here Come the Podophyllums!

Touring a gorgeous shade garden

We’re visiting another garden with Cherry Ong today, one that she saw on a tour organized by the Vancouver Hardy Plant Society last summer. This is a collector’s shade garden, full of lots of beautiful and unusual plants, including a stunning collection of Podophyllum (mayapples; hardiness varies, but mostly Zones 6–9).

Aside from a few sprays of white flowers, this is a green-on-green-on-green view that is also an incredible study in texture. Bold podophyllum foliage in the foreground contrasts with the more delicate hardy impatiens (Impatiens omeiana, Zones 7–9). The impatiens foliage boasts beautiful lighter green veining down the center of each leaf.

This genus has one famous North American species (Podophyllum peltatum, Zones 4–8) but countless Asian species and hybrids, some of which boast beautifully patterned foliage like this.

The podophyllum flowers hang down under the leaves but are well worth bending down to take a closer look at.

Can’t get enough of this podophyllum foliage!

And how about the stunning geometric patterns on these leaves?

Seen from below, the patterned leaves glow different colors, and the dark flowers are visible.

The narrow gravel path guides you through the lushness and provides a contrast to the rich green.

Stunning flower of the Chinese sweetshrub (Calycanthus chinensis, Zones 5–9)

This garden is a masterpiece in green, and the path slipping out of view invites you to see what might be behind the next bend.

This planted green wall is breathtaking. Everything on it looks so lush and perfect, while two metal fish create a centerpiece to the whole view.

We’ll be back with more photos from this incredible garden tomorrow!


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View Comments


  1. JaySifford 03/14/2024

    I think that a shade garden, if crafted properly, is the most tranquil and magical of all gardens. There's mystery and beauty in the shadows.
    Podophyllums have to be in the top 5 of my favorite plants. They are amazing.
    Thanks for sharing. This is a great way to start my day!

  2. User avater
    simplesue 03/14/2024

    Oh I love Podophyllums aka Mayapples! I just have some plain ones and really like them, now seeing how many varieties their are is amazing, I love them all! And I think I see the beautiful leaves of Bloodroot on the photo with (Podophyllum peltatum)?

  3. btucker9675 03/14/2024

    The Mayapples in my wooded area are just coming up now - they are natives that I transplanted from the watershed area behind our property. There is a large swathe of them back there and I wanted to be able to see them up close in my garden. They have the lovely little white flowers and I love getting down and finding them. Thanks for sharing this amazing garden!

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